DIY Dent Repair? Hmm….

Some of you have been asking about this thing called “mobile dent repair,” and if it’s something we should be doing to our cars and bikes on our own…well, here’s a DIY article about it, but I honestly don’t recommend it…

Paintless dent repair is commonly used to avoid more time consuming and expensive repairing methods. When you get a small ding in your car try repairing it yourself rather than hiring a professional auto repairer. Here are a few basic steps to follow.

Step 1: Examine the dent

First of all, inspect the dent. Some dents may be fixed easily while others may require more extensive repairing. If the dent is caused due to hailstorms or other natural calamities, you might want to consider consulting a hail repair specialist. Once you find some potential options, you should ensure that they possess all the necessary credentials to provide accurate and reliable services. else, if it’s a dent that you can fix with your tools, you might want to go ahead with the next step.

Step 2: Acquire the Necessary Tools

Next, acquire the tools you will be needing to carry out the repair. Most of the tools can be found in any home toolkit. If not, you could purchase it from somewhere similar to a Home Depot. Sites like Raise may have coupon codes that could be used to buy these at a lower price. The methods are simple ways which have however been deemed successful in cases of small dents.

Step 3: Use Aluminum Foil, a Lighter and Canned Air

A basic method which could work is to place a piece of aluminum foil over the dent. Then, switch on a lighter and hold the flame right over the foil for half a minute or so. Then spray with some canned air for a few seconds. The sudden change from a high to a low temperature could help the metal change its form and the dent might be removed as a consequence. Wipe with a soft cloth to remove any traces.

Step 4: Use a Hair Dryer and an Air Duster

A similar method to apply a change in the metal’s temperature is to heat up the area where there is the dent with a hair dryer. Then, after about a minute spray the heated patch with an air duster. A layer of ice will form over the dent. When the ice begins to melt the dent should pop back and be fixed. Once the ice has melted up wipe completely dry with a soft cloth.

Step 5: Apply Suctioning

Purchase a dent removal kit from an auto trader. Place the suctioning tool found in the kit over the dent you wish to repair. This is often in the shape of a cup, with a string at the other end. Basically you have to pull the string in order to apply the pressure in the space encompassed between the cup’s interior and the vehicle’s metal. Alternatively, if you do not wish to buy such a kit you can always use a plunger which is a common tool found in every home. If the dent is not complicated this will lead to the metal to pop back in place linearly. You may try to repeat more than once so as to try and achieve a bigger suctioning. If not successful, you can proceed to more extensive DIY paintless dent repair methods.

Step 6: Using Other Tools from the Dent Repair Kit

Apart from the suctioning cup a dent repair kit will also contain a dent pulling tool. Place this over the dent. Then, pull hard so as to make the dent pop out. When this is achieved you may use a small hammer to push it back more linearly with the rest of the body as it may protrude a bit outwards at first. It is best to fix a board or a block of wood at the back of the metal while doing this.

When your car won’t start in the morning

Unlike people who like to burrow underneath the sheets on cold mornings, cars are inanimate creatures – they don’t feel cold the way humans do. When you start your car on a cold morning and all you hear is a “click” and the indicator lights on the dashboard do not come on and the engine does not roar to life – don’t blame the weather. Check your batteries.

Ideally, you should look at the terminals of your car batteries regularly. Make sure that the terminal caps are tight and do not wiggle free. Look at the terminal (there’s one with a + sign and one with a – sign). All batteries have a positive (+) and a negative (-) terminal. They are also usually color-coded so you don’t hook up the negative wire to the positive terminal (that will be a disaster!).

woman with jumper cables

Sometimes, your battery terminal is loose or it is corroded. Moisture and grime promote build up on the terminals and this causes corrosion on the battery terminal. Make sure the terminals and the terminal caps are clean. If you see deposits on the terminal that are whitish in color it might mean that battery acid is leaking out of the sealed battery and this batter acid is corrosive. It causes the build up around the terminal, preventing the electrical charge from travelling smoothly. Be careful, though, as the battery acid might cause burns. The leaking battery acid might also cause sparks that will short-circuit your electrical wirings and cause a fire in your engine.

A car battery has a usual life of about two years depending upon the use of the car. If you use your car every day and you drive a lot at night, you might need to replace your car battery every two years. Remember that a car battery does not provide electrical power for your car. Ideally, the car battery is merely a storage unit for electrical power that is manufactured by the alternator.

The stored electrical power in the car battery will provide the initial spark that will trigger the internal combustion when you start the car. After that, most cars run on the gas or diesel power and not electrical power anymore except for hybrid or electrical cars. Hybrid cars run on both fuel and electrical power while electrical cars run on purely electric power.

All the electrical power generated by your car as it runs is made in the alternator. Your alternator contains an electromagnet that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy which is then stored in the car’s battery. When the alternator is working well, as you drive around, the alternator keeps your car battery charged. If your alternator isn’t working properly, it won’t convert enough electrical energy to keep your batteries charged. The result is, while you are driving around with your headlights on, with the radio on and while you are charging your cell phone, your car will use up the stored electric power in the battery, thereby draining it.

The electromagnet in the alternator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy by a high-speed rotation of a shaft. The shaft is attached to by a fan belt to another shaft in the engine. If the fan belt that drives the alternator is loose, it will make a squeaky noise. The squeaky noise comes from the fan belt sliding instead of it driving the alternator to rotate. When the alternator fails to rotate the mechanical energy is not converted to electrical energy. That explains the dead “click” in the morning when you start the car.

Check the batteries regularly. Check into a garage and ask them to run a test on the batter to see if it is charging well. Have them check the fan belts for nicks and tears and even for moisture and grime as these affect its efficiency. Keep a log and remember when you had your car batteries changed. Manufacturers usually give a one-year warranty on a car battery. Checking the car battery regularly ensures that you maintain the validity of the warranty and you keep your car running smoothly.

The ‘walk around’ check: basic preventive maintenance

Most car owners and drivers sail through the back door with a piece of toast in their mouth, a mug of coffee, the newspaper and a briefcase. They go directly behind the wheel, start their car and back out the driveway. This amount of stress and tension really is not very good for your own health or for your car’s.

If you keep pets around your house, you know better than just start the ignition and get out the driveway in the morning. You know you have to check out your tires to see if the cat has sharpened its claws on it and has caused tears on it, or the dog has chewed down that nozzle that sticks out of the tire where the tire is inflated. These simple irritations might just cause your car to break down while on the road, or worse, it might lead to an accident.

If you suddenly find yourself with a flat tire in the middle of traffic, you would have to push your car to the side and you can be sure that you will get a ticket for obstruction and get towed for it. If the tire blows out while you are on the interstate doing 50mph, it’s not only unpleasant, it’s downright scary! You will struggle to keep your car from weaving. You will have to apply the brake gently, move your car slowly to the side and avoid colliding with another vehicle on the interstate at all costs. Not a very pleasant scenario, is it?

To prevent little irritations such as these from becoming life-threatening accidents, you must make it a habit to do a simple “walk around” check before you start your car in the morning. Beginning at the front of the car: check the lights, the tires, the wheel fixings (the nuts and bolts and the rim of the tires) as well as the body.

Make sure that the lights are all intact (no broken lights). Look and see if the tires are standing and not flat. Check to see that the nuts and bolts that keep the tire attached to the car are tight. Look to see that the rim of the tire is round and not dented in some parts. If you see stains on the rim of the tire, it could just be mud, it could be your dog’s pee, or it could be brake fluid leaking. Check behind the rim of the tire if there is any moisture there. Look at the doors and see that they close and open well.

If you have time, pop the hood and check the dipstick and the level of the motor oil. Check that there’s water in the radiator. Check the level of brake fluid in the reservoir. If you still have time, start the car with the hood popped open; and listen for any unusual sounds: check for loud grinding and squeaky noises. A grinding noise might mean there’s something loose somewhere which is causing the engine to vibrate too much. A squeaky noise might mean there’s something wrong with the fan belt that drives the alternator or the air conditioning or the car’s cooling system.

Turn the headlights on and off to see that they are working fine. Turn on the signal lights to see if they are working. If on the dashboard there are flashing lights, it might mean that your gasoline tank is nearly empty, it might mean that your car is overheating – flashing lights on the dashboard are not a good sign. If on the dashboard, the signal lights are blinking faster than usual, check to see that outside, the signal lights are blinking as well. It might mean that something is off in the electrical wiring. Faulty electrical wiring might lead to a fire in the engine or inside the car.

If your car does not pass the “walk around” test, you might have to call a mechanic and borrow your wife’s or husband’s car for the day. It will be inconvenient, for sure, but at least, you won’t find yourself miserable in the middle of lonely stretch of road without any cell phone signal and without any way to call on a mechanic. Or worse, find yourself in the middle of a road wreck.

Basic Tire Maintenance Check: Rotation and tire depth

stack of tires

Aside from checking the tire pressure weekly, you can also check the wear and tear on the tires and rotate the tires. You can bring your car to a mechanic and have him check the wear on the tires. He will then take each tire out and replace them into a different place from the previous spot it used to be in (front tires may get replaced in the back tire wells or vice versa). This will ensure that the tires wear down at a fairly even and uniform rate. If you’re handy, you can do this yourself.

Some cars are front-wheel drive (both of the front tires are driven by the motor when you run the car while the back tires just roll along as they are pulled by the front tires). There are cars that are rear- wheel drive: both the back wheels drive the car while the front wheels roll along as they are pushed by the back tires.

SUVs are usually “4×4” meaning all the wheels are driven by the engine simultaneously; or they may be “2×4” meaning two wheels are driven by the engine simultaneously while the other two wheels roll along as they are pulled or pushed by the other tires. You can just imagine that the tires that “drive” the car are the ones that suffer more wear. Rotating your tires will ensure even wear on the tires. This will also ensure even handling as you brake.

How can you tell when your tires are worn?

Well, if you go to a tire store, you will notice that the new tires have small “hair-like” bits of rubber sticking out. You will also notice that there are deep grooves on the tires. The depth of the grooves signals that these are new tires. As you drive your car, the depth of the groves lessens as the road eats away more rubber from the surface of your tire. A tire that is smooth (it doesn’t have deep grooves on its surface) is “bald.”

An observant traffic cop will pull you over if you are driving around with “bald” tires. Bald tires mean that your car will have trouble stopping as there will be nothing that will maintain traction on the road. When the road is wet as when it has just rained, a car with tires that are “bald” or nearly “bald” will more likely skid and slip on the wet surface. You will lose control of your car when you apply your brakes. Yes, even the emergency “hand” brake will not keep the car from skidding out of control when your tires are “bald.” Bald may be beautiful, but this does not apply to car tires.

Basic Tire Maintenance: tire pressure check

The car’s tires are like a person’s feet. If your feet are sore or you wear shoes that have very little or no support at all, then you are likely to get injured. The same analogy applies to cars and its tires. The tires are the part of the car that touches the road. It bears the weight of the car and its passengers and cargo. Thus, it is the part of the car that is subjected to the most wear and tear. Checking it regularly may save you from expensive repair, and it can save your life.

Check the tire pressure once weekly

The tire pressure is measured in pounds “per square inch” (psi). This not only measures how much air there is in the tire, but it also measures how much that amount of air inside the tire pushes against the inner walls of the tires. To check how much air you should keep inside the tires, check the manual for the car manufacturer’s recommendations. If your car isn’t brand new or if you’ve changed your tires before, the recommended tire pressure should be embossed on the tire itself, near the rim.

Stick to the recommended tire pressure: too low tire pressure means more drag as more of the tire touches the road, there is more friction, and thus, more rubber gets eroded as you drive your car. If the pressure is too high, your ride will be too “bouncy” and only the middle of the tire surface will touch the road. Either way, the wear on the tire will not be even and it will affect how much gas you consume: drag makes you push harder on the gas pedal, increasing the consumption of fuel to simply propel the car forward.

Things to check when planning a road trip

A Few of the Essentials

When you are planning to take your car on a road trip cross-country, a little planning and foresight is necessary. Since you will be driving your car to a destination that may be unfamiliar to you, it pays well to get your car looked at to see that it is not only roadworthy, but also to give you peace of mind that you have done your best to make sure that your car won’t suddenly cough and sputter and just roll over and die on the side of the road somewhere. You’ll need to check things such as the Landing Leg Safety Equipment, oil levels and even tire tread. Don’t set off before checking any of these things.

Check your tires

why you need long distance driving services

Take a penny and slide it in the grooves. If the grooves are not deep enough to bury the penny up to half its height, your tires are too worn to survive a cross-country road trip. Change your tires. Some people check the tires that are attached to the car but they forget to check the spare tire that’s sitting in the trunk of the car. You also have to get that checked to see if it has proper tire pressure and if it is not too worn down. Nothing is more annoying than to get a flat tire and to learn that the spare tire in the trunk is also flat. You won’t be able to limp your way to the nearest service station. Worse, an unexpected expense like this can upset your road trip plans.

Check the fluids

Check the oil. Better yet, get an oil change. Change the oil filter and check the air filter. These things keep particulates from accumulating in the oil making it too thick and viscous that it won’t lubricate the engine properly.

If you are in the habit of getting a periodic oil change, then all you have to do is to ensure that you have enough motor oil. Locate the dipstick. Take it out and wipe it clean. Then put the dipstick back in and take it back out. You will see the level of oil in the engine. There is usually two indicators for minimum and maximum.

By checking the oil, you will also see if it is clear or murky and filmy. Clear oil means it is still clean and thus, your car engine is in good working order. When the oil is dark or murky, chances are, you need an oil change. When there is a whitish film on the oil – that means water has mixed with in with the oil and that could spell major trouble.

Check your emergency car supplies

Make sure that in your emergency kit in the car. Don’t just pack a first aid kit. Also pack in a can of motor oil, a can of automatic transmission fluid and a can of brake fluid. It just might save your car and save you a headache while on the road. It also will not hurt to have an empty gas can in the trunk just in case you run out of gas and you need to hike to the gas station you just passed to purchase enough gas to drive back to the gas station and fill up. And if you are going by truck, consider getting a truck bed cover manufactured by companies like Peragon. A retractable tonneau cover can properly protect all your belongings.

Make sure you pack a flashlight with extra batteries. Make sure you have your reflectorized early warning device (you should have a pair) to put in front of and in back of your car as you are stalled on the road. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher in case of engine or fuel fire. Pack some flares in case you are in real trouble and someone is badly injured.

Make sure that the pliers, a screw driver, lug wrench, cross wrench and jack are all in the trunk and they are all in good working condition. You never know when you might need it. Also, a set of jumper cables can help you get your car started if your battery suddenly dies on you.

Check all your lights

Check your headlights, signal lights and tail lights. Make sure that your front and rear windshield wipers are working properly. Check to see that the utility light in the trunk and the map light in the car are also working. Checking the windshield wipers and sprinklers will ensure that visibility on the road is maintained.

You do not want to be pulled over and issued a traffic ticket for broken or faulty lights. You also might want to get your car battery checked as these lights depend upon battery power when you use them. You also will not enjoy sitting in your car on the side of the road in the dead of night being eaten alive by mosquitoes as you wait for a tow truck because your battery is drained.

If you don’t have time to check all this out, and make the appropriate changes before your trip, I recommend and have has great success traveling with long distance transportation companies. One in particular I like and have worked with before you can find here: It’s kinda a last minute resort, if you can’t fly or drive yourself. But it’s a fun experience, and you get to be on the road.

That’s all for now. Have fun!

Preventive Car Maintenance: Keeping your car roadworthy

Roadworthiness is a driver’s basic obligation

If you’ve had a decent driver’s education, you would know that it is the car owner’s responsibility to maintain the roadworthiness of the car he drives. Driving a car is not a right, it is a privilege. Only persons who can fulfil the obligations required by law for operating a vehicle are given a license to drive. Keeping a car roadworthy is one such obligation of car ownership and car operation. A person cannot just keep driving his car until it falls apart in the middle of the road. A car’s registration is periodically renewed as this is the opportunity for government agencies such as the Department of Motor Vehicles to determine a car’s roadworthiness.

Maintaining roadworthiness benefits the driver

Maintaining your car is beneficial for you. A car which is well-maintained will seldom get into accidents caused by equipment malfunction (faulty brakes, brakes that do not deploy, etc.). There is also less risk for a car to be pulled over because a police officer happens to see wires sticking out from under the lid of the trunk, or under the trunk. There will be no traffic citation or traffic ticket for a busted tail light or a signal light that isn’t working.

Keeping a car well-maintained also means that if you are suddenly in need of money and find yourself having to sell your car, you can get a good deal because your car’s resale value is not lowered by obvious signs of wear and tear – or signs of neglect.

What is roadworthiness?

When a car is roadworthy, it is suitable and safe for use on public roads. A car is suitable for use on public roads when its condition meets the requirements for being used on public roads – it runs smoothly without endangering the lives and wellbeing of its driver or passengers. This also means that a car is safe to ride in and it does not put other motorists or pedestrians at risk of injury. In some states, before a car is allowed to be registered or before it is allowed to renew its registration, a car owner must submit his car for roadworthiness inspection and the car must obtain a certificate of roadworthiness.

Is the Second Amendment in jeopardy

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This video is scary!
Currently, our freedom and rights including the Second Amendment right to bear arms have legislation threats from our own government. But this video provided by the NRA shows that anti-gun politics and organizations here in the United States are not the only evil lurking to destroy American rights. There are other countries in alliance with the UN and a evil organization called IANSA that want to take away our right to defend or home and family.
It is wrong that so many have given the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom, The Constitution of The United States and the Bill of Rights. Currently we have troops in hostile environments fighting in wars putting their lives on the line to defend freedom. How can we, as Americans, stand by and watch as our rights are being subjected to deterioration! As our troops are over in distant lands fighting for our rights, we not only owe them our support. We also owe it to them and those who have fought before them to defend those very same freedoms from the enemy here in our own country. Americans here on the home front were given the right to keep and bear arms by the founders of our great country (as detailed in one state by this page: It is also written that that right shall not be infringed. However, now has come the time when we must stand up and let our voices be heard. Today with the threats at hand that want to take away those very same rights, it becomes our responsibility to defend those rights and our freedom.
So, in this post I have presented to you a problem, but I also want to provide you some solutions.
On April 19, 2010 The Second Amendment March will be held in Washington DC. Visit The Second Amendment March web site for more information and make plans to attend. Join the NRA and GOA